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Comment: Re:Apparently regulation is "socialist" (Score 2) 312

by SerpentMage (#47815197) Attached to: Uber Now Blocked All Over Germany

Sorry, but what France is saying and Germany are saying are two totally different things.

France by default has idiotic protectionist schemes. Germany on the other hand has in this case common sense schemes like the GP post is saying.

I am for free competition, and free market. However, I am NOT for skirting regulations because you think you found a loophole. Imagine if everybody did that? While some things would be good, many other things would not be good at all. Or are you for lead in your toothpaste?

Comment: Re:You dorks (Score 4, Insightful) 418

by SerpentMage (#47491157) Attached to: Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

Exactly you nailed it. For those that say that the ads have become manipulative, sorry but how are they different than old TV? Sure we have Tivo like apps but the reality is that commercials have always been in your face. It is just that on the Internet we have become used to non-invasive free Internet (as in free beer). The fact that this has changed does not surprise me in the least. Don't like it, do like the parent poster said, don't vist the site. Or better yet fork over money so that sites don't need ads.

Comment: Re: Now thats incentive (Score 3, Insightful) 564

Exactly! I have been telling people that machines will not wipe us out because they will become as stupid as we are.

Don't believe me? Here is my argument. Humans actually are very intelligent. I am not saying that some are more intelligent than others. I am saying we as a species are rather intelligent. However, it is that intelligence that gets in our way. When humans look at a problem they see answers. If the problem is science then the answer is relatively simple and we have devised ways to ensure our errors do not get in the way.

But here is where the tricky bit comes in. If the problem is not entirely scientific and involves the interactions of humans, or interactions of any living beings (eg human to environment) then our decisions become stochastic; Same basis results in completely different results. This is not due to the lack of knowledge. TRUST ME it is not. It is due to people weighing certain aspects heavier than others. We all do this. You would think that we all come to the same conclusion, but we don't! It is this stochastic behavior that machines will have as well.

For when machines become "aware" they will see the facts in different lights than say other machines. It is only natural because machines cannot store all information about everything. They, like humans, will have to optimize, prune and figure it out. Thus they like us will make stochastic decisions! I am even thinking that machines will turn into the Monty Python Holy Grail missions, and even though that sounds silly it will.

Of course machines might have more capacity than humans, but even there I am skeptical because humans will have brain implants and be cyborgs and the cycle of lunacy will start all over again. IMO the most accurate representation of the dilemma of humans and machines is the Matrix. Watch it closely and see what its basis is.

Comment: Re:the real question is... (Score 1) 228

by SerpentMage (#47372869) Attached to: Nathan Myhrvold's Recipe For a Better Oven

Yes spoken like a Myhrvold minion!!!! And of course HIS way to cook steaks is perfect and the ONLY way to eat it...

I eat my steak rare (have since I was a teenager) and let me tell you it is edible. You have to pick the right meat everything works out. This is the kind of garbage that Myhrvold spews out. IMO it is quite arrogant to think he *has* the answer. You want to know who can cook slices of meat? French people! I also don't buy the sous vide argument because it really depends on the cut of meat.

Comment: Re:No, they're replacing. (Score 1) 341

by SerpentMage (#47341755) Attached to: If Immigration Reform Is Dead, So Is Raising the H-1B Cap

Actually no the unemployed white guy would not pick lettuce. Let's take Switzerland as an example, that's where I live. A very difficult job is farming in the alps. It is literally back breaking work. The realities of the situation is that people don't want to do this job because it is too difficult and pays too little. Due to the way that these farmers work they get subsidisation from the government. Sidenote the farmers are needed since they maintain the alps. I am not joking, the alps which look so "pretty" is due to all of the people literally mowing the grass, cleaning the fallen trees and so on.

The end result is that the farmers rely on 1/3 foreigners since most Swiss don't want to do this work. It is too hard and pays too little. Thus the comment of the gp is very true.

For the white guy to pick lettuce the wages would have to be so high that EVERYBODY will pick lettuce, thus resulting in lettuce becoming unaffordable.

Comment: Re:Winter is coming (Score 1) 461

by SerpentMage (#47319121) Attached to: Half of Germany's Power Supplied By Solar, Briefly

One year? I think not... Try about a decade of subsidisation. Actually Germany has not shifted to solar. What they have done is added solar and as a result driven down the price of electricity to such a point that the taxpayer subsidises about half of the solar power.

Here is how solar in Germany works. You have a fixed payment you get, and let's call it X. If the power of electricity drops below X to say Y then the taxpayer is on the hook for X - Y. Normally this should be temporary. But because Germany is over producing by a large amount electricity the price of electricity is quite a bit lower. Meaning that X - Y becomes significant. But it gets better. that difference is a tax and if it is applied to say an electrical intensive industry they get a rebate because they become uncompetitive. Right now there are oodles of companies that have applied for this rebate. MEANING the bagholder is the tax payer.

So the moral of the story is, sure if you overload with taxes and subsdizations things work out peachy. Just don't ask the taxpayer if they are happy. Oh wait, the internal consumption of Germany sucks!

Comment: Re:more pseudo science (Score 1) 869

There ya go!


While the records are not to a quarter of degree C, they are close enough IMO for knowing what is going on with our climate. And these records that go back to the 1300's, yes 1300's are pretty detailed. But hey keep denying what is going on, keep sticking your head in the sand...

Comment: Re:Kurzweil is an idiot with Super Powers (Score 3) 294

by SerpentMage (#46434071) Attached to: Why Robots Will Not Be Smarter Than Humans By 2029

You are missing an important detail here. Humans are very very smart, the problem is that we all think we are smart. I have heard about this Kurweiler thing for quite a while and have to say he is dead wrong and let me explain why.

Humans are smart because they can optimise. There are two ways to digest information; bitmap style, or vector graphics style. Most humans do learning vector graphics style. It allows us to process huge amounts of information with the cost of inaccuracy. This does not mean we cannot process information bitmap style, and indeed there are humans who do, namely autistic. And I don't mean pseudo autistic, I mean Rainman autistic. There is this artist who can look at any sight and create a photo copy of it on a piece of paper. The cost of bitmap is that other functions are put out of order.

Kurzweil from what I am guessing is thinking this is a hardware issue. I say no it is not a hardware issue for our human brains are optimised to process huge amounts of information. It is a conflict of information issue that causes us to be both smart and stupid at the same time. For if we all reached the same conclusion we as a human race would have died out many eons ago.

When two people see the same information they will more often than not come to different conclusions. This is called stocastics, and it is what causes strife among humans. Some humans think God came in the form of a fat man, others think he came cruxifiyed, and yet another came in a beard and head piece. I am not mocking religion, what I am trying to point out is that we all see the same information, yet we all wage wars on who saw the right image.

Thus when Robots or AI gets as intelligent as humans, the machines are going to be as fucken stupid as human beings. They are going to wage the same wars and think they all have reached the proper conclusion, even though they are all right and wrong at the same time. The real truth to AI has already been distinctly illustrated in a movie that gets rarely quoted... The Matrix! Think hard about the battles and the wars and the thoughts. They all represent the absolute truths that each has seen and deemed to be correct. YET they are slightly different.

I will grant Kurweiler one thing the machines will have more storage capacity, but then I ask what is there stopping us from not becoming part machine part human? I say nothing...

Comment: Re:No (Score 3, Insightful) 627

by SerpentMage (#46328691) Attached to: Does Relying On an IDE Make You a Bad Programmer?

Learning the language with a notepad is IMO a really bad idea. I will give an analogy that I think is appropriate.

I am renovating our houses. In the past you would use a hammer and nail to assemble the wood. These days you don't. You use a cordless power drill with screws, and glue. I was talking to my sister and in Ecuador they do as well as their areas are earthquake prone.

My point here is, would you teach somebody to build a house with hammer and nails? Answer no, because it is a passe art. Now before you all start jumping on me on houses built with nails, that is to save costs. Anybody who wants a quality house will use screws and glue. Likewise notepad, VI, emacs are passe arts. Good at the time, but not usable anymore.

Comment: Re:Your task: explain how Net Neutrality stops thi (Score 1) 298

by SerpentMage (#46171451) Attached to: Is Verizon Already Slowing Netflix Down?

Oh good god, you don't need subsidies to have 10+ ISP's. You are mistaking that to have choice you need 10 lines running into your house. The problem at heart is one of who owns the lines and who owns the data over the lines.

Take electricity for example. You can have multiple companies feed in the electrical system, and pay for a particular company because the carrying costs is identical for each company. The problem and this is where the true monopoly lies is the last mile. The company that owns the cable into the house is the one dictating the charges. And we continually fail to address that issue.

Adam Smith in his papers addressed this issue quite clearly. His opinion was that the government was not to own the monopoly, but that the government was to dictate a trust owned by the private market. This means only one cable will run into your house. However, the costs for that cable is split evenly across all companies. The concept for the most part is implemented in Switzerland and Germany. Namely the government dictated that other providers can run data across the cable that enters your house. Thus then you do get 10+ providers without government subsidies.

Now before you squawk "oh Switzerland and Germany are not that big as America" I am going to refer to the fact that I have a house in the mountains and it has 15 Mbps Internet access. This house is in what North Americans would call the boondocks. At our house in subburbs we have 150 Mbps access. I accredit this to growing the pie, not allowing a single company to own the pie.

Comment: Re:Total Obedience is Required ! (Score 2) 197

by SerpentMage (#46098203) Attached to: Anti-Polygraph Instructor Who Was Targeted By Feds Goes Public

The US has like in your comments always had a checkered past when it came towards certain "non-freedom" acts. I think we could agree that all countries have certain tendencies. However, and this is the big however, there were always moments when the Americans stood up and said enough is enough. I am not saying it cannot happen again. What is different this time is that you have an America divided and polarized. Look at voting, that is absolutely insane.

You are either an MSNBC friend and hater of Fox news or vice versa. Fox news spreads the propaganda and calls it the news. Yes yes the "left" is doing this as well. You have movements in the US where and this is really funny in a sad way, that it is legal to shoot somebody and kill them because they "looked" at you the wrong way (I am looking at your Florida). It is acceptable to wave a machine gun around and accumulate rounds and rounds of bullets.

Take a step back remove the American flag, the cheering and so on. What would this be representative of? I will tell you a third world developing country run by a pseudo dictatorship. Americans are not willing to step up and admit this. Sure there are some that say things need to be changed, but they as in America on the whole doesn't want to change. It is always the "other" person who has to change not them. EXCUSE ME the "other" person is you.

Call the hippies lazy, dirty, smelly, etc. BUT they did change America and in many aspects for the better. Where are the Americans willing to stand up now? Oh yeah they are being branded as idiots and lazy slobs and one step away from Nazi-dom because they don't like having a two tier bus system. Again step back remove the constitution, remove the flag and think hard about what the country compares to. I always say if it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, its an effen duck.

BTW I am not happy or shadenfreude as I am a foreigner. I am actually quite sad and disappointed for I like America... America the concept is a very nice place...

Comment: Re:It might be an unpopular opinion... (Score 3, Insightful) 822

by SerpentMage (#46082367) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Does Edward Snowden Deserve?

Quick question what about the General who lied through his teeth when questioned by Congress and the Senate? Remember he LIED... Snowden did not lie, he just uncovered what was the truth.

Many think that Snowden is the culprit here, but frankly he is not because if it was not Snowden it would have been somebody else. The problem is the NSA was too zealous in its gathering techniques. It was only a matter of time before somebody would have said something.

Thrashing is just virtual crashing.