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Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Knowledge Management Systems

Tom writes: Is there an enterprise level equivalent of Semantic MediaWiki, a Knowledge Management System that can store meaningful facts and allows queries on it? I'm involved in a pretty large IT project and would like to have the documentation in something better than Word. In a structured format that can be queried, without knowing all the questions that will be asked in the future. I looked extensively, and while there are some graphing or network layout tools that understand predicates, they don't come with a query language. SMW has both semantic links and queries, but as a wiki is very free-form and it's not exactly an Enterprise product (I don't see many chances to convince a government to use it). Is there such a thing?

Comment Re:core point (Score 1) 168

Once one has transmitted the means to convey information and technology, plans can be transmitted (ala Contact, but with technology for biological creation, not communication). One could send to another world every last step needed to create and nurture a human being in-situ,

You are assuming that life as we know it is meaningful to advanced species, and I challenge that assumption.

Life on earth made a leap forward when cells began working together and specializing. The same process is already going on in human societies - many of us are so specialised that we would have a hard time surviving outside the city and the logistics systems that provide us with water, food, electricity (for heat) and build our houses and roads. Imagine this goes on for another thousand years, with humans becoming the equivalent of cells. Highly specialised, completely linked into a larger system that becomes the new entity.

Life of such scale does not have restrictions that we have, the same way we are not impacted by the death of some individual cells in our body. Such a lifeform could easily engage in interstellar travel, even with the hundreds and thousands of years it takes. Its individual "cells" would die and reproduce, but it as a whole would continue.

You can even see nation states or cultures as a primitive version of such life. An identity above and beyond the individual. A frightening prospect for us westerners, who live in a culture that celebrates individualism. For asians, such ideas are much less frightening.

Comment Re:core point (Score 1) 168

We then need to create a signal that is clearly different than that which is produced by natural processes lacking intelligence.

This will give you attention, but not communication.

Transporting meaning, i.e. signal, is more than just making sure you get noticed. How to encode meaning is largely arbitrary and requires a common understanding between sender and receipient. See to the early days of the Cyc project for enlightenment on just how many assumptions are in even the most simple of our communications.

The problem is not generating a signal. Any infant can do that pretty much from the moment it's born. The problem is being understood, and that takes years, even if you are completely embedded in the structure that creates language.

Comment Re:Nope. Doesn't work like that. (Score 1) 320

Do you REALLY see many people like that around you? Cause those are only about 2% of population.

As are the 160 IQ people.

Those people can't be all below average. There are simply too many of them for that. And the curve is broken.

It's not a perfect curve, that's for sure. But the point is not about numbers and math. The point is what you said here:

Your view is distorted by the fact that you are probably standing a bit low (indicating higher IQ) on the right side of the curve, looking up-curve at all those people below you and going "OMG! There are SO MANY of them."
So you don't see that in actuality, most of those people are actually on your side of the curve. Closer to you, than to those below IQ 85.

Most of us here are on the above-average side, as a self-selected group of people interested in stuff that's not very simple. So from our perspective, things that seem incomprehensible stupid would seem less so from the average persons POV.

I personally can't wrap my head around the concept of religion at all and while I can write an article about the psychological needs and cultural circumstances that contribute to the formation of religious ideas, I cannot personally "feel" how it is to be religious. And I can feel myself into many other things.

But from statistics I see, being religious is still pretty much normal.

So in short: Never make a conclusion about what's normal from your own personal experience.

Comment Re:I don't think it will mean much (Score 1) 183

"Meat stock, you're revving up a slippery slope. I'm overriding that shit."

Meat stock? That's only after you're in a severe crash, and all that's left of you is soup. Anyway, traction control is awesome. If you have some actual traction to work with, and your TC is four-wheel, then it is ridiculously great.

Comment Re:Don't contact aliens. Don't. (Score 1) 168

ALONG WITH most alien species are completely AFRAID of humans as they know our true potential. They want NOTHING to do with us until we grow the fuck up (spiritually.)

You must be assuming some galactic police force existing too, then, because if they're afraid of us and developed enough to be aware of us they can almost certainly send us a rock that we can't cope with.

Comment Re:MOOC = Massive Open Online Course (Score 2) 104

I have heard of lots of acronyms. That doesn't mean I'm familiar with them.


Until I read the wikipedia entry, I had no idea what it meant even though I've participated in one (started on Stanford's machine learning).

> first introduced in 2008 and emerged as a popular mode of learning in 2012

Popular? That's laughable. Easily accessible, yes.

Comment None of the above (Score 1) 47

The real problem with identity theft is that courts are granting judgements which absolutely should not be granted. Someone got a judgement against me for credit granted on the basis of a check cashing card with my social security number written on it, and not very well I might add.

Of course, another way to fix this problem (and all debt problems) would be to make all debt the responsibility of the lender. They can take risks, they can accept collateral, but the courts couldn't then be used to ruin people's lives in pursuit of profit. The guy who created this bogus debt in my name knew it was bogus, and his filing against my credit report was therefore fraudulent. But the court should have caught it, and they either don't care or want to enable this activity so that they can profit from the assorted fees and justification for their existence.

Comment Re:Why not just lock down the radio portion? (Score 1) 134

WiFi routers aren't like mobile phones with separate application processor and baseband. Instead, they only have one chip,

some phones have only one chip, and some wifi routers have multiple chips. I have examples here both of wifi routers with the wifi separate and with the wifi integrated.

Only the very cheapest routers can only be implemented with a SoC. Lots of the more expensive ones already aren't.

Comment Re:Show us the data (Score 1) 400

The FAA and other regulatory bodies have to have a notional value of a human life to be able to balance the cost to society of new safety rules against the benefit to society in terms of lives saved.

Yes, but note their interpretations differ, and are either based on some notion of cost, or just made-up bullshit to justify their other actions. The insurance companies are actually paying out money, which is why I suggest looking there. I think they're probably a better reference for the value of health than of life, admittedly.

Comment Re:Remarkable people (Score 1) 320

A remarkable number of people are intelligent, well-adjusted and successful in their lives, and still manage to hold one or several of the beliefs above without ever experiencing any sense of disconnect.

Without ever consciously experiencing any sense of disconnect, you mean.

Those remarkable people

There's nothing remarkable about willful ignorance. It is the normal state for the majority.

"Lead us in a few words of silent prayer." -- Bill Peterson, former Houston Oiler football coach